The PGA Tour is staying put this week as we continue the two-week Muirfield Village visit with the Memorial set to tee off this Thursday. This comes off the heels of the Workday Charity Open, which was also played at Muirfield Village a week ago. That is something we never see on Tour and getting a chance to see the course and what it demands could help us with our DFS picks and PGA betting cards. I am expecting some minor changes in terms of tee boxes and the rough length, but overall this is the same course as last week.
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Jon Rahm 20-1
Rahm was a disappointment last week as he found the weekend, but never seriously contended. He did close Sunday with a scorching round of 64 so you could argue he found some momentum heading back this week. This is a guy who should love the setup with his length off the tee and ability to get in and out of trouble, which this course tests.
Odds-wise, Rahm sits at 20-1, which is a little higher than I expected, despite the pretty average form coming out of the break. Looking at the stats from last week, it was actually very solid gaining 5.1 tee to green, which included 4 strokes gained on the approach. Now, most of that was due to a monster Sunday, but clearly the ball striking was in a much better spot. If Rahm can heat up the putter here, watch out, as this course, I think long term, will be a good fit for the Spaniard.
Patrick Reed 50-1
This is another price that caught my eye as Reed is a big-time player who has already shown he can win in the strongest of fields. That’s the good news and part of the reason I am interested, but there are also some real concerns about where exactly Reed’s game is. That’s to be expected as he isn’t the most consistent player on tour, but there is no doubting this ceiling.
Reed played last week and finished 39th, and stats-wise, really didn’t do much of anything. He gained a ridiculous 4.4 strokes around the green, but that is the last place we want our golfers doing damage as it means he was forced to scramble a ton. Reed always has the ability to work himself out of trouble and the harder this course plays the more interested I am in backing him. He needs to clean up the irons and then we know how dangerous he can be when giving himself chances on the greens. Even in a strong field like this, 50-1 is worth some exposure to with a guy like Reed.
Hideki Matsuyama +300
I have unsuccessfully been targeting Matsuyama in the PGA betting outright market the last few weeks. He is playing quality golf, but as I always talk about when betting outrights, it doesn’t matter if he is close or misses a cut since it is an all-or-nothing wager. Matsuyama is one of the easier guys on Tour to break down since he is unreal tee to green and cannot buy a bucket with the putter.
Matsuyama has lost strokes putting in four straight events, and in all of them, he lost two or more. That really limits the ability to win events, even when gaining five strokes on the approach, which Matsuyama has done in the last two events. If he does get the putter going, then he is going to get back in the winner’s circle, but who knows if and when that will be. That is why I am opening this up for a top 10 bet, which gives us a little more room to work with and still provides some upside at 3-1. You can still sprinkle in top five and even outrights with Matsuyama, but this wager allows us to still be live even if we do not see any improvements with the flat stick.
Rickie Fowler (-105) vs. Daniel Berger
We head to the matchup market here as there are a bunch of individual matchups to break down if you are looking for less volatility and more of a grind-it-out wager. Another reason to bet a matchup is you are looking to short a specific player and you can take several head-to-heads with him in there hoping he doesn’t find the weekend.
The matchup I’m going to here has Rickie Fowler coming off a 22nd-place finish last week at this course, which could have been better with a stronger back nine on Sunday. Fowler drove the ball great, but was a little loose with the irons and that will have to be corrected. Still, his game is trending upward, and the possibly tougher conditions this week should suit his game as he can scramble and make his share of putts.
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On the other side of this matchup, Daniel Berger was playing out of his mind even though he only played two events post-break. Those resulted in a win at the Charles Schwab and a third-place finish the following week at RBC. Since then, he chose to skip Travelers, Rocket Mortgage and The Workday, so it remains to be seen if that form will continue. While I don’t think taking a few weeks off ruins a guy’s form, I do think this course is significantly worse than the ones Berger recently played on. He excels at par-70 tracks that are more technical, and it’s no surprise that’s where all his wins come from on Tour.
Berger has been awful in two appearances at Muirfield Village (missed cut and 67th). This layout is significantly different from the course we’ve seen Berger play recently, and that’s where I have some concern. In terms of his showings here, it’s a sample size that you cannot draw much from. But when combining that with the type of course, I think over time we will see this just isn’t a track for him. I like Fowler quite a bit to put forward another solid showing and force Berger to continue his stellar form in order to cash this head-to-head.
If you are unfamiliar with PGA betting or are just looking to dive into it for the first time, make sure to try and understand each type of bet and how to properly allocate bankroll for each. When choosing a few outrights at long odds, we are hoping to hit one of those a year as it would pay for the entire season and then some. Think of that as the large-field GPPs where you hope to tread water and then rely on a big hit once every year or so to do major damage.
On the other side, we have head-to-head bets, which, naturally, are more like cash games or head-to-heads in DFS where you aren’t going to win a huge multiplier of your money, but also should be hitting them at a reasonable clip. Getting a clearer picture of what each bet is like is important as this is a long season with a lot of opportunities to take some stabs in the PGA betting markets.